Monday, March 2, 2009

Sang Froid in a time of trouble: is a vaccine against HIV possible?

by Stanley A Plotkin via Journal of the International AIDS Society

Since the announcement of the STEP trial results in the past months, we have heard many sober pronouncements on the possibility of an HIV vaccine. On the other hand, optimistic quotations have been liberally used, from Shakespeare's Henry V's "Once more unto the breach, dear friends" to Winston Churchill's definition of success as "going from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm". I will forgo optimistic quotations for the phrase "Sang Froid", which translates literally from the French as "cold blood"; what it really means is to avoid panic when things look bad, to step back and coolly evaluate the situation. This is not to counsel easy optimism or to fly in face of the facts, but I believe that while the situation is serious, it is not desperate.

Read the rest.

"Science appears calm and triumphant when it is completed; but science in the process of being done is only contradiction and torment, hope and disappointment." - Emile Roux

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